Would You Censor This Cartoon?
THE MORNING LINE:
The a.m. roundup of today's toons, from the verbose to the verboten...
Now boarding for Controversy City.
Some of Darrin Bell's best "Candorville" strips, in my humble opining, come when the spectre of a freshly dead celebrity pays a visit, whether it be a George Carlin or -- as is the case this week -- the King of Pop-ularity himself, Mr. Jackson.
One thing I enjoy about these storylines is how Lemont wrestles with the entertainer's legacy -- such as with today's (above). The writing crackles with curiosity -- and genuine commentary. But there's one caveat: What distinguishes these strips as vivid can also render them verboten. Case in point: The Jacko Train of thought.
Earlier this week, "Candorville" intended to joke about, well, pedophilia. Editorially toxic, right? Thing is, the joke was really on Jackson, and his own insane decision-making even after his first child-molest case. And because Bell is dealing with Jackson's demons so genuinely, so forthrightly, he makes it clear: Context is king here.
Ultimately, though, the topic proved too toxic as a "gag" and Bell's syndicate, Washington Post Writers Group, asked him to go in a different direction. But this is fertile fodder for debate: Would YOU kill this particular strip?
To see the original cartoon (and to read about Bell's explanation), you can go to his "Candorville" blog entry here. And once you look at the original, you're invited to vote on the Official 'Riffs Question o' Controversy:
If you were the editor, would you refuse to run the cartoon strip that was censored?
The Art of the Pun: Don't Try This at Home
BEST AND WORST PUNNING OF THE DAY: There's a right way and a wrong way to practice punnery. Today, "Rhymes With Orange" is a most skillful practioner -- downright surgical in its economical precision. "Frank and Ernest," on the other hand, is a shameless quack. The only consolation: The quack's co-pay might be as cheap as this joke.
LAUGHING GAS: "Dilbert" and "Sherman's" are toiling in such similar south-of-the-waist terrain today that I'd almost prefer to see them combine the gags. The Sherman Tank of tiny bubbles meets Dilbert's Rear Guard. Because the mashup might even be funnier.
NO HUGH JACKMAN, THIS ONE: Could the strip make Wolvie any more backward? Forget theater -- get him a gig on Howard Stern.
The Reliable Source
| July 8, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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